LEGO creations by masterbuilders to give you all the LEGO inspo you need

Remember when we spent our summer vacations and free time after school fiddling around with LEGO blocks, and sometimes painfully stepping on them with our feet? Fun times, right? But, LEGO is no more considered child’s play! Master builders, artists, and LEGO enthusiasts all over the world are creating impressive LEGO builds that’ll blow your minds away. They are a result of their hours of dedication, attention to detail, hard work, and creativity. They can be considered works of art, and I love scrolling through these creations, admiring them, and feeling an intense surge of satisfaction at their perfection. And, we’ve curated the best of the lot for you to drool and go gaga over!

1. The new LEGO Back to the Future Time Machine

The new LEGO Back to the Future Time Machine is improved, detailed, and better than ever! The jazzed-up build features a Flux Capacitor light brick, gull-wing doors, and printed dashboard dates. You can add the different equipment from the different parts of the movie – including the lightning rod from the first film, and the hood-mounted circuit from Part III!

2. The Iron Man Mk 43

Created by LEGO Master Builder Ransom_Fern, the Iron Man Mk 43 is actually a mashup of two separate LEGO sets – the Infinity Saga Iron Man (code 76206), and the Eternals in Arishem’s Shadow kit (76155). The result is a figurine that’s much larger than the original Infinity Saga build, and arguably better looking too. Ransom_Fern spent two full months putting this piece together and the result is a much more proportional action figure, with a better silhouette, a great stance, and the same classic appeal.

3. The Fairground Collection set 10303 Loop Coaster

LEGO released the Fairground Collection set 10303 Loop Coaster as a part of the Creator Expert series which releases a unique set every two years. Using kinetic energy to complete the ride in one motion is an incredible feat in itself, since the size of the 36-inch-tall LEGO set is still compact by any standards. The 11 minifigs are lifted to the coaster’s top on an elevator using the winding motion of a manual crank. There is also the option to automate the function with a motor upgrade if you are willing to pay more money.

4. LEGO Speed Champions

This LEGO playset with 2 Mercedes-AMG racers lets you collect, build, and race your own LEGO Speed Champion. In fact, it’s just like the real thing – it’s been power-packed with original Mercedes design details. This one is a definite must-have for LEGO lovers!

5. The LEGO Kumbi Saleh 3020 CE

Using over 100,000 LEGO pieces, designer Ekow Nimako imagines the Kumbi Saleh 3020 CE a Ghanaian metropolis 1000 years in the future. This artwork is the centerpiece for his exhibition titled Building Black Civilizations and showcases details like nothing you have ever seen before, almost reminiscent of the Game of Thrones title sequence!

6. TheCasleFan

LEGO Stefano Boeri Vertical Forest Milan

Celebrating Boeri’s designs is TheCasleFan, a LEGO builder who has created a tiny replica of Boeri’s Milan project. The building is a scaled-down caricature of the original 2014 structure called Bosco Verticale, or Vertical Forest in Italian. TheCastleFan’s LEGO MOC (My Own Creation) really nails the details wonderfully. The building comes dotted with what really seems like countless plants, perched not just on each floor, but also along the walls. Balconies come with creepers that descend downwards, and solar panels on the terrace give the green building a greener touch!

7. The LEGO Classic Phone

Made from 572 bricks, the LEGO Classic Phone comes from the mind of a LEGO master-builder who goes by the name of Brick Dangerous. Inspired by a Paramount Collector Classic Series brand, they decided to create a replica that could decorate any corner of the house, filling the void left behind by the landline phone that used to be a standard of every modern household before Y2K.

8. LEGO Batmobile

Inspired by the rollercoaster movie plot, TaeYang Lee tried to recreate the film’s mood but didn’t come good with his own expectations. Later on, he discovered Mecabricks, a LEGO modeling tool, and hence came into existence this cool build. Just like the on-screen Batmobile this one too is set in a dark gloomy world which magnifies its sinister character. Those beaming headlights that seem to stare you right in the eye, or the flaming exhaust that warns you not to cross the periphery!

9. LEGO Luke Skywalker’s rugged X-34 Landspeeder

Well, it’s time for the Luke Skywalker’s rugged X-34 Landspeeder to take up the LEGO form. Yes, the Star Wars Luke Skywalker’s Landspeeder 1,890-piece LEGO set has officially landed. The iconic orange Landspeeder set is 19-inches long and comes with a detailed interpretation of the exposed turbine engine on the left, a curved windshield, and cute little minifigs. Priced at $199, this detailed LEGO brick interpretation is not cheap by any means, but then, nothing is too expensive for Star Wars fans, or is it?

10. LEGO Globe

Once the user assembles this tricky LEGO set piece by piece, it spins too, and the printed names of the continents and oceans glow in the dark. According to LEGO Group Head of Global Marketing for Adults, Federico Begher, “What is so wonderful about this set is that, with a little imagination, it allows fans to discover the world through LEGO bricks. The globe is a symbol of dreams and aspirations of travel to come for all who are seeking a bit of adventure or for those looking to learn about our world.”

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Float ergonomic cushion makes meditation a more uplifting experience

There are many touted benefits to meditation, both psychological and even physiological, but very few people actually adopt the practice, let alone stick to it. Similar to the advice about eating vegetables, it’s easier said than done, and many people find it difficult to maintain focus for even a few minutes. Locking yourself up in a room might be relatively easy, but finding a comfortable position and a comfortable seat is actually harder than it sounds. And just like with eating vegetables, what you need is some special ingredient that will make the experience more enjoyable. This meditation cushion is that special sauce that will make you feel like you’re peacefully floating among the clouds.

Designer: Zmind Design

Click Here to Buy Now: $138 $198 (30% off). Hurry, only 5/80 left!

Most advice for those just starting out with meditation involves simply using what’s already there, like a comfortable chair or even a floor cushion. The suggestion is meant to assure beginners that you don’t need any special or expensive equipment to get started, removing part of their hesitation to even try meditating. That said, the common advice also takes for granted that not all seats are properly designed to induce a relaxed state needed for meditation, and if you’re not careful, you could even cause some injury to your body in the process.

But if you think that the solution involves some hi-tech chair with fancy and confusing features, you might be shocked at how unassuming and nondescript the Float cushion actually looks. Its simplicity not only belies the intelligence of its design but also matches the spirit of the activity itself. It doesn’t look visually overwhelming and doesn’t get in your way, allowing you to focus on finding inner peace while your body remains comfortable and protected.

Seated Position – Float supports legs, hips, and thighs to help create proper body alignment when meditating in a seated position. Float raises the hips slightly, preventing the compression of nerves and blood vessels in the legs.

Part of Float’s magic is its rather irregular form, specially designed to support the lower back and keep the shoulders upright while sitting on the ground during meditation. It might also not look like it, but the cushion supports the two most common seating positions during meditation, sitting crossed-leg or kneeling in Seiza form. In both cases, the form of the cushion guides the proper position of the legs so that no nerves, blood vessels, or joints are compressed, which could lead to discomfort and injury.

Seiza Position – While sitting in Seiza, with the legs tucked underneath the body, the downward sloping design provides relief from back pain. With the posture aligned, the body tall, and the joints decompressed, the abdominal core is strengthened.

It might also not look like it, but the cushion is actually made from high-quality molded viscoelastic memory foam that is comfortable to sit on but still manages to keep its shape for a very long time. This is no trivial feature because it means that the Float won’t be finding its way into landfills far longer than typical cushions. You can have peace of mind knowing that you aren’t contributing to the world’s trash problem while you try to achieve inner peace.

Its surface is covered with a furniture-grade 100% polyester fabric that uses a micro-suede texture to give it a premium feel. It isn’t all just looks, though, as the material is durable as well as stain and water-resistant. That means it should survive an accident outdoors, but if you really need to pick it up to transfer locations quickly, the hallow cutout makes it a breeze to carry the cushion.

You might not need specialized equipment to get started on meditation, but even experts know what a big difference a comfortable and ergonomic seat could make. With its simple yet ingenious design, high-quality materials, and stylish looks, the Float Meditation Cushion will make you look forward to every meditation session. Who knows? You might not even want to get up anymore because of how much it makes you feel like you’re floating on cloud nine.

Click Here to Buy Now: $138 $198 (30% off). Hurry, only 5/80 left!

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The 2022 Design Intelligence Award is open and free for entry, with a massive $750,000 prize fund

Ask yourself. Is a design good if it won an award? Or is it good if it positively impacted people? The latter sounds like the most obvious option, right? Well, that’s the objective of China’s premier awards program, the Design Intelligence Award. Established in 2015 by the China Academy of Art, the DIA Award doesn’t just discover good design… It develops it. Working in part as an award program and in part as a product accelerator, the DIA Award celebrates innovation and entrepreneurial imagination. The free-to-enter award program has a two-round judging and evaluation process, with the aim to help develop products that uniquely benefit humanity. In doing so, the DIA Award also aims at creating a platform to accelerate international trade, increase connectivity, and open up commercial opportunities. After all, good design is only impactful when it reaches and benefits more people, right? To that end, the award program has even set up a prize fund worth ¥5 million RMB, or $750,000 USD to help incubate great ideas into great designs.

The Design Intelligence Award’s judging process occurs in two stages – a preliminary, and a more hands-on final one. During this time, an elite panel of 550 multidisciplinary design experts evaluates the entries based on three criteria/layers – 1) The fundamental layer emphasizes the “Principles of Design”, covering functionality, aesthetics, technicality, user experience, and sustainability. 2) The advanced layer emphasizes the “Direction of Design”, spanning contribution to humanity, industry, and the future. 3) The top layer emphasizes the “Impact of Design” in regard to social influence and industrial development.

Based on these criteria, the DIA Jury Panel selects 30 outstanding projects that are innovative and positively impactful. Winners get access to the DIA’s prize fund of ¥5 million RMB ($750,000 USD) with the winner alone getting ¥1 million RMB. Although that isn’t the end of it. All winners are invited to the DIA Award Ceremony to engage face-to-face with global representatives from various industries such as design, academic circles, media, etc. The award also organizes a set of expert lectures known as the D-WILL, sponsored by Zhejiang Modern Intelligent Manufacturing Promotion Center and Design Innovation Center of China Academy of Art, with the intent to spearhead innovation and connectivity. With “Meet design, Meet future” as its initial intention, the Lecture invites education experts, industry elites, and pioneers to share their achievements and insights in their personal research and careers with younger generations. Finally, winners get featured in the media as a part of a coordinated PR push to help get their work noticed by everybody. In fact, you can scroll down to see a few winners and honorable mentions from last year’s Design Intelligence Awards.

Have an innovative idea for a product or service? Want to win up to ¥1 million RMB ($147,000 USD) to help develop it into a tangible life-changing design? Click here to enroll for the 2022 Design Intelligence Awards FOR FREE!

X2 by HT Aerospace Technology Co.Ltd.

The X2 is an award-winning flying car, or what the designers like to call a ‘three dimensional transportation system’! With a cockpit no larger than your average automobile, the X2 sits two people and uses four propellers for vertical take-off and landing (VTOL). Its unique aesthetic is a combination of cyberpunk inspiration along with aerodynamism. The X2 takes on a teardrop shape for peak aerodynamic efficiency, but has an aesthetic that still puts it in somewhat car territory. If you’re wondering whether the X2 is also made from a bulletproof metal alloy like the Cybertruck, it isn’t. Instead, it uses a carbon-fiber interior and exterior to achieve that lightweight build needed to be an efficient ‘flying car’!

Tmall Genie Queen by Zhejiang Tmall Technology Co., Ltd

Designed to be a smart mirror, the Tmall Genie Queen isn’t just a mirror with a speaker attached. Instead, it’s an IoT-enabled grooming system that coaches you as you get ready, giving you grooming and makeup tips to help you look your best. The mirror comes equipped with Tmall’s voice AI, and even has a ring light built into the rim of the mirror that automatically illuminates to give you perfect lighting as you apply your makeup. Does it play music too? Well, obviously!

Carbon Fiber Violin by Jiang Mi

It isn’t a Stradivarius, but in the violin’s defence, makers of the Stradivarius probably didn’t have access to novel materials like carbon fiber. Carbon fiber, oddly enough, makes for a rather interesting material when it comes to acoustics. We’ve seen carbon fiber guitars and speakers in the past, although this might be the first carbon fiber violin we’ve ever laid our eyes upon. Designed with an incredibly sleek and streamlined body, this violin is a lot thinner than traditional violins, and lighter too. Designed using “injection molding methods” (although how one would do that for a hollow instrument is definitely puzzling), the violin comes with what looks like an entirely unibody design, making it much tougher than any other violin out there. It also means the violin can come in a host of different colors, bringing an entirely new appeal to the otherwise strictly traditional instrument.

ThinkPad X1 Fold by Lenovo

Designed to be the first ever folding-display laptop, the ThinkPad X1 Fold comes with a 13.3″ OLED display that folds in half, and a physical keyboard that attaches to the screen when you want to use it in laptop mode, and detaches to turn the X1 Fold into a folding tablet. This dramatically helps scale down the laptop’s original framework, making it mildly thicker, but smaller width-wise, thanks to the folding screen. Each X1 Folf also comes with a kickstand to prop the screen up, and a stylus that lets you experience the Windows-based tablet’s full potential.

Sadler Bike by AQL8 s.r.l.

If a folding tablet/laptop wasn’t enough, say hello to the Sadler – a folding hubless e-bike that crams down to the size of a trolley, making it the most compact folding e-bike in the world. The Sadler comes with a carbon fiber frame and a motor built into the rear hubless wheel. The bike’s minimalist design goes one step further thanks to its folding action, which makes it occupy less than half its original space. Designed in Italy, the Sadler bike weighs a nominal 15 kilograms, but can support nearly ten times its weight. The e-bike’s internal battery has a range of 90 kilometers, while the rear-wheel motor can hit speeds of up to 25 km/h, as specified by EU regulations.

Have an innovative idea for a product or service? Want to win up to ¥1 million RMB ($147,000 USD) to help develop it into a tangible life-changing design? Click here to enroll for the 2022 Design Intelligence Awards FOR FREE!

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Tiny all-glass “pavilion” glows at night

When you hear the word pavilion, you probably think about something that’s huge and grand. You get visions of big events being held inside a dome or some other interestingly shaped structure that can fit hundreds or even thousands of people. But this luminescent and “unquestionably small” structure was intentionally built to be a tiny, portable booth that can be transported wherever it is needed. Still the designers chose to name it “A Pavilion”.

Designer: Office Mi-Ji

This structure was initially built to sell bagels and condiments in Melbourne, Australia. But instead of the usual food truck booths that you see at food fairs, markets, and other places where food is sold, you instead get something that actually looks like a greenhouse, or more specifically, a glasshouse. Currently it’s being used as a storage unit but of course that’s such a waste for this carefully-designed “pavilion” so it will be used again to sell condiments but no more bagels.

The structure is made from a three-directional grid of steel T-sections but the whole thing is covered in translucent glass, hence giving it the look of a greenhouse. Even the roof is made from the same kind of glass so you get a singular space and look for the entire thing. But it does have some chamfered edges, giving off a sort-of thatched roof look. Inside it’s also a bit different as the floor is made from timber, a departure from the overall glass look of the A Pavilion.

It might seem like there’s no way in or out of this structure but there’s actually a door at the back. And of course, since it’s used for selling, there’s a square window at the front where you do your transactions with the customers. It’s only 2.7m long, 1.5m wide, and 2.3m high so it is a pretty small booth but it was really designed like that so it can be transported where it’s needed with just a small truck. It’s still pretty tricky to move though as it is made of glass mostly.

One other cool thing about the A Pavilion is that when the sun sets down, it seemingly glows because of its translucent glass skin. It probably doesn’t need outdoor lighting in order to become visible although of course, if you’re selling stuff, you need some light inside.

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MINI Spaceman reinvents the legendary hatchback’s iconic status

The current generation MINI Cooper is a prime example of powerful engineering, compact size and superior handling. That classic British styling in a nimble package denotes the freedom and spontaneity of commuting in comfort. And who can deny the unique look of this likable set of wheels?

Way back in 1959 when the first MINI burst into the scene, it baffled the automotive community – of course in a good sense. Thankfully, all these years the basic design of the MINI has been hooked on tight to the initial roots. Perhaps that’s why so many car lovers swear by this small power-packed car. To elevate the MINI into the next era of modernization dominated by lounge-styled commuting, the MINI Spaceman concept is born.

Designer: Leif Mortz

This hatchback concept is a culmination of a fun-to-drive vehicle that ditches the four-seater configuration for a futuristic three-seater setup. The idea is to cocoon the riders in comfort and leave room for lounging when desired. The rear on this one gives up some of the contours for a sharper aesthetic and more space, courtesy of the elongated boot section. Whether or not MINI fans will like this disbalance is completely subjective and depends on users’ needs. For someone with a family, this makes more sense, but for one who loves MINI for the pure fun of driving, it doesn’t hold much merit.

The sense of airiness is given precedence here with the use of more glass panels on all sides as compared to the current generation MINI. The seating configuration of the front seat can be oriented in the relaxation mode as it can be maneuvered in all directions depending to need. It can even be folded down to make space for additional poufs for relaxing comfortably on the rear seats. The perfect scenario for working in a scenic landscape or socializing with buddies. For a motorist’s delight, the MINI Spaceman will come in a convertible model too!

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Wondlet graphics tablet concept is a design tool that actually looks the part

Anyone who has ever dabbled or worked with digital graphics will have come across the wonder known as a graphics tablet. Whether with a screen or an opaque surface, it is an indispensable creation tool that has saved many a wrist from irreparable injury. There was a time when Wacom was the only name in this biz, but new brands have come up to challenge the champion in features as well as in price. Despite the growth of that market, however, the design of graphics or drawing tablets seem to have been frozen in the past, set in stone by some unknown convention that dictated everything had to be black, boring, and, to be blunt, unappealing. It is a rather ironic state of affairs, but someone finally thought of designing a designer’s tool that looks like it was actually designed by a designer.

Designer: Bous Studio, Studio Alpeto

They say that the best tools are the ones that disappear, which is to say that they don’t get in your way by being in your face. The traditional design of graphics tablets seems to adhere to that philosophy by being nondescript and plain, but it actually gets in the way in some other sense. Most of them are designed to be ergonomic, that is true (though there are definitely some exceptions), but they also seem to be uninspired and downright banal as well. For designers that take great pride in how beautiful their pens and stationery look, it’s disappointing that a keyboard and mouse would look more attractive and better designed than a tool specifically aimed at artists, designers, and creators.

The Wondlet concept breaks out of the mold to present a graphics tablet that designers and artists would be proud to flaunt on their desks. Save for a few parts, the concept doesn’t seem to diverge too far from the typical materials used in graphics tablets. It will most likely still be made mostly from plastic, save for what looks like an aluminum knob, but it adds some splash of color and adds interesting shapes that would better appeal to a designer’s sense of aesthetics.

It doesn’t change any existing functionality or even add to them. Save for the dial, which still isn’t a staple in drawing tablets, everything is still there, including the buttons that can be mapped to shortcuts on the computer. Those buttons are flatter than traditional tablet designs, but they’re not completely flushed either, leaving room for haptic feedback and muscle memory.

The stylus looks different, though, and could prove to be the most divisive part of this design concept. That said, the faceted barrel design for a traditional pen isn’t exactly unfamiliar, and the second-gen Apple Pencil introduced that shape to many digital artists today. The absence of physical buttons on the pen, however, has always been controversial, but it might not actually be a critical deviation from the Wondlet’s design if it had one.

The design doesn’t explicitly say it, but it seems that the control panel, which also serves as a nest for the stylus, can be mixed and matched between different colors. In fact, it could very well be movable, which is critical for supporting left-handed people. One can only hope that Wacom or some other graphics tablet maker would create something like the Wondlet, offering a designer tool that designers could be proud of.

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Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Honoring the Black oystermen of NYC, designing comfier airplanes, growing plants in darkness and more

Traditional Japanese Garments Merge with Unusual Natural Materials in New Exhibition

From now through 11 September, the Minneapolis Institute of Art will showcase Dressed by Nature: Textiles of Japan, an exhibition that features over 120 Japanese textiles crafted from unexpected natural materials like banana leaf, nettle, hemp and even fish skin. “Exhibitions on the dress of Japan always focus on the silk kimono and clothes worn by the aristocracy,” curator Andreas Marks tells The Art Newspaper. “Dressed by Nature instead celebrates the inventiveness and beauty of folk traditions and clothes worn in everyday life.” As such, the garments are contextualized by historic photographs, paintings, woodblock prints and video clips. Of particular note is a 19th-century woman’s fish skin festival coat (aka a hukht) that is made by the Nivkh people of Sakhalin Island after repurposing the skins of the carp and salmon that the community fished for food. Read more about the fascinating show at The Art Newspaper.

Image courtesy of John R. Van Derlip Fund/Mary Griggs Burke Endowment Fund/Thomas Murray Collection

Scientists Engineer Plants to Grow in Total Darkness

New research published in the journal Nature Food reveals that scientists have invented a way for plants to grow in total darkness. To do so, researchers used a process called artificial photosynthesis, where they fed acetate to plants as a carbon source, allowing them to bypass natural photosynthesis. They tested this on yeast, green algae, fungal mycelium, cowpea, tomato, tobacco, rice, canola and green pea, finding that all of them grew in the dark—with some actually growing more efficiently than in sunlight. Yeast, for instance, was 18 times more efficient. This artificial process could be a game-changer for the environment, as food as well as products like plastic alternatives, hydrogen fuel and methanol can be made more sustainably. “Using artificial photosynthesis approaches to produce food could be a paradigm shift for how we feed people,” says Robert Jinkerson, an author of the study. “By increasing the efficiency of food production, less land is needed, lessening the impact agriculture has on the environment.” Learn more about this breakthrough at New Atlas.

Image courtesy of Marcus Harland-Dunaway/UCR

NYC’s the Real Mother Shuckers Honors the Legacy of Black Oystermen

Moody (aka 37-year-old Ben Harney Jr) founded Brooklyn’s only oyster cart, the Real Mother Shuckers, in 2019 as a way to return oysters to their former ubiquity. Although most people associate the shellfish with upscale dining, oysters used to be widespread in New York during the 1800s, from street stalls selling oyster snacks to raw bars in the basements of buildings. Many of these oyster cellars were owned by African Americans, including the prominent Thomas Downing, who not only sold oysters but also became one of the wealthiest men in the city by doing so. In returning oysters to the street along with classic mignonettes or yuzu and green apple dressings, Moody honors the Black oystermen who were instrumental in building this legacy. “New York was the oyster capital of the world. And we’re eating hot dogs?” he asks The New York Times, where you can learn more about his mission and delectable offerings.

Image courtesy of Douglas Segars/The New York Times

Air New Zealand’s Economy Class Skynest Sleep Pods Promise Comfier Flights

Air New Zealand unveiled their plans for the future of flying which include Skynest sleep pods. These lie-flat options for travelers in economy are structured as “six single bunks split over three levels, complete with privacy curtains.” Passengers can book them to sleep mid-flight, along with a “pillow, sheets, blanket and ear plugs, as well as lighting designed to be suitable for sleeping.” They will be available for four hours at a time. There will also be snack stations, a business-class suite with a sliding door, new fabrics and color schemes drawn from the hues of the tūī—a bird native to New Zealand. The changes are mostly driven by the fact that many destinations outside the country are a good 10+ hours away. The company’s CEO Greg Foran says, “New Zealand’s location puts us in a unique position to lead on the ultra-long-haul travel experience. We have zeroed in on sleep, comfort and wellness because we know how important it is for our customers to arrive well-rested. Whether they are heading straight into a meeting, or to their first holiday hotspot—they want to hit the ground running.” Read more about the amenities, rolling out in 2024, at Stuff.

Image courtesy of Air New Zealand

Link About It is our filtered look at the web, shared daily in Link and on social media, and rounded up every Saturday morning. Hero image courtesy of Minneapolis Institute of Art

IKEA-worthy furniture designs that perfectly represent contemporary aesthetics + functionality

PLOT TWIST Bookshelves

A beautiful piece of furniture can complete a room. It can be the final piece that makes a space come full circle, building a comfortable and cohesive haven, rather than a random area. Furniture pieces make or break a home, they add on to the essence or soul of a home, hence one needs to be extremely picky while choosing a furniture design. The design should be a reflection of you, and what you want your home to be. When you place a piece of furniture in a room, it should instantly integrate with the space, creating a wholesome and organic environment. We’ve curated a collection of IKEA-worthy furniture designs that we believe will do this! From a bookshelf with a plot twist to a chair that’s meant to tip – each of these pieces is unique, well-crafted, and made with a whole lot of love, and the love really shines through in the fine detailing and workmanship. We hope you feel the love too!

1. The Plot Twist Bookshelf

PLOT TWIST Bookshelf Concept

PLOT TWIST Bookshelf Details

Prolific German furniture designer Deniz Aktay has recently introduced the Plot Twist Bookshelf. It’s a piece of furniture that features four separate twisted wooden elements. They are connected to each other, shaping and creating a stable form.

Why is it noteworthy?

The bookshelf’s design allows it to be accessed from every side. As with most of Deniz Aktay’s product designs, this bookshelf is oddly satisfying. The curves are present as with the designer’s other projects. In addition, most of Aktay’s works have undergone some bending or twisting, as with the Wavelet, the Tie Stool, and The Pet Table.

What we like

  • The shelves can accommodate similarly sized books for a clutter-free look
  • The bookshelf is stable and stands on its own

What we dislike

  • Space consuming design

2. The Pessoa Table

Minimalist desks are great at sneaking organizational features into hidden nooks and crannies, but this striking work table has those compartments and spaces hiding in plain sight.

Why is it noteworthy?

Given the desk’s simple yet beautiful appearance, it might come as a surprise to learn that its form is actually inspired by three very different people with very different personalities. Or, to be more precise, the desk is named after the famed Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa, whose different “heteronyms” (he doesn’t want to call them pseudonyms) have different and sometimes extremely conflicting ideologies. But almost like a metaphor for that situation, the Pessoa table still retains a unified appearance and beauty, just as all of Pessoa’s seventy-five heteronyms spring from the same man.

What we like

  • Minimal + vintage looks
  • Features two containers that float in the back panel

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

3. The Swing Ao Stool

Dubbed the Swing Ao Stool, this little number by Takusei Kajitani explores a fun concept of using tension to emulate ‘softness’. Sort of how a hammock feels soft like a beanbag, although there’s no ‘cushioning material’ inside a hammock, the Swing Ao chair provides a level of flexibility thanks to the fact that the seat is, in fact, suspended from the chair’s four legs.

Why is it noteworthy?

The idea, says the designer, was born from a need to eliminate the sedentary lifestyle. “Most chairs have been designed on the idea that sitting is a static movement despite the human body is designed to move,” says Kajitani. “It forces our body to stay rigid for a long time.” To that end, the Swing Ao Stool promotes constant movement. Sort of like sitting on one of those yoga ball chairs, the Swing Ao Stool keeps you constantly moving, feeling like a cross between a stool and a pogo stick!

What we like

  • The chair’s unique design explores a special arrangement where the seat and the legs don’t really touch each other
  • This tension structure allows the seat to move freely in conjunction with the movement of the sitter’s pelvis like a small swing

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

4. The Landr

The Landr dining and conference table tries to correct the design mistakes of common tables, promising enough stability that you can even place a lander on top of it to screw a light bulb.

Why is it noteworthy?

Of course, we’d rather you didn’t, but Landr’s designer is so confident in its stability to make such a bold and unqualified claim. Whether you’re cutting bread or standing on top of it, the table shouldn’t budge a single inch. At the very least, it wouldn’t collapse from under your weight, and it definitely looks like it could handle a rough lunar mission. That’s despite having a modular design that is also promised to be trouble-free to assemble.

What we like

  • Extremely easy to assemble
  • It is mostly made of renewable or recyclable materials

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

5. The Circus Coffee Table concept

The “Circus” coffee table concept is designed to bring people together in a more active and almost chaotic way. It’s taller than most coffee tables, tall enough to be a regular desk. In fact, it can even be used as one and has features designed to accommodate working on it.

Why is it noteworthy?

The table’s jumble of shapes and materials is almost chaotic, just like a circus. You have a predominantly wooden table with metal components that add functionality to the table. The large circular hole in the middle turns the disc into a donut and reveals two triangular shapes that form the legs of the table. Instead of a solid cylindrical base, the table has metal bars and doors on opposite sides, creating further contrasts in terms of design.

What we like

  • The bars serve as slots for books
  • The solid panels, on the other hand, are doors for storage, as well as a way for charging cables to go through without dangling from the edges of the table

What we dislike

  • It’s still a concept!
  • Probably impractical in setups where a wide cough is involved

6. Brustolin’s furniture collection

On their own and with their peculiar designs, these pieces of furniture would have pretty much fit the description of minimalist products. Their basic shapes and base color schemes are not that uncommon, but as with anything in life, it’s the different ways you mix these elements up that really make a difference. And in this collection, it’s exactly that interaction of elements that makes them stand out without removing their primary function as usable pieces of furniture.

Why is it noteworthy?

The translucent epoxy resin legs and opaque shelves already give the Differ Shelf a sharply contrasting motif. It is, however, the way the light bends, reflects, and refracts through those yellowish panels that turn the shelf into an almost dazzling light show, depending on where you stand. Given its unique visual properties, this shelf is designed to stand in the center rather than against a wall so that people can walk around it and view it from different angles. It truly differs from other shelves.

What we like

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

7. The Diag Desk

The Diag Desk is a minimalist, modern desk built to optimize desk space while incorporating storage elements like removable leather compartments. When it comes to desks, the simpler the better. Desks that are rooted in simplicity, either through a minimalist approach or by embracing Scandinavian aesthetics, typically offer a lot of practicality while maintaining a stripped-down design.

Why is it noteworthy?

Considering its minimalist build, more space can be devoted to the desk’s tabletop, where most of the desk’s purpose is reserved. The Diag Desk from Polish designer Marek Błażucki is one kind of minimalist design that integrates storage systems into its build, ensuring that users have ample desk space while still keeping their necessary stationery within arm’s reach.

What we like

  • Integrates ample storage systems into its build
  • Ensures stationery doesn’t fall off

What we dislike

  • There are a lot of visually similar desks on the market

8. The O6

Named after the O-shaped backrest that gives the chair its distinct lightweight design, the O6 is the result of a 2-year collaboration between Benjamin Hubert’s LAYER Design and Allsteel.

Why is it noteworthy?

The O6, like a lot of LAYER’s past work, relies on balanced forms, curved edges, and soft forms that create a visually comforting experience that in the case of the O6 also extends to the actual experience of sitting on the chair too. Designed to blend into your muted office setup (rather than act as a vibrant statement piece), the chair sports a greyscale color palette and comes in 4 color options for the frame going from a light neutral grey all the way to black. Users can further customize the chair’s design by choosing from as many as 22 different colors of Spectrum mesh for the back and seat and six 4-Way Stretch mesh back colors.

What we like

  • The idea for the O6 was to create a design that embodies the aspect of easy and comfortable productivity
  • The chair’s name also pays a hat-tip to the six key interactions that enable the user to configure the O6 for ultimate comfort

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

9. The O TRL

What the world needs more of is minimal and elegant furniture like the O TRL by Annabella Hevesi. Annabella created this tray table as a versatile piece of furniture – use it to store your stationery, kitchen knick-knacks, or as a makeshift desk in work from the home emergency scene – the pure and minimal aesthetics of this design make it a perfect match everywhere.

Why is it noteworthy?

The trolley has a slim and sleek silhouette and is constructed using a black MDF board, powder-coated steel, and rubber. Do not be fooled by its humble looks; this tray can bear its fair share of weight and move around smoothly, given its large weight-bearing wheels.

What we like

  • Can bear weights
  • Moves around smoothly

What we dislike

  • The design looks a little frail

10. The Tippi Chair

Tippi Chair Concept

Tippi Chair Release

For Joshua Corder, the Tippi Chair tells us a person’s tendency to play with a chair, so it tips over. Instead of coming up with an asymmetrical chair, he comes with something that has a sloped back and angled front. The Tippi Chair’s name is derived from the “tip” movement.

Why is it noteworthy?

The chair with the height of a stool offers a tip function which is made easier with a 5-degree tip angle. The Tippi Chair doesn’t really have separate legs but the front and back support serve the same purpose. There is a small curved backrest that makes it easy for anyone to grab and carry the chair. The space underneath serves as storage for your bag or shoes.

What we like

  • Ideal on an entryway, allowing you to sit down and wear or take off shoes with more convenience
  • Offers a tip function

What we dislike

  •  It’s not something you can use as a dining chair or as an office chair

The post IKEA-worthy furniture designs that perfectly represent contemporary aesthetics + functionality first appeared on Yanko Design.

3D printed designs that are paving the future of sustainable product design

3D Printing is gaining more momentum and popularity than ever! Designers and architects all over the world are now adopting 3D Printing for the creation of almost all types of products and structures. It’s a technique that is being widely utilized in product design, owing to its simple and innovative nature. But designers aren’t employing 3D printing only to create basic models, they’re utilizing this technique in mind-blowing ways as well! From a 3D printed backpack constructed from recyclable materials to a pair of 3D printed shoes that’ll make you feel like Bigfoot – the scope of this dependable technique is unlimited! Dive into this collection of humble yet groundbreaking 3D printed designs

1. The Cryptide Sneaker

The Cryptide 3D Sneaker Sintratec 2

The Cryptide 3D Sneaker Sintratec

The Cryptide Sneaker was designed by Stephan Henrich for Sintratec. The German architect and designer came up with a pair of full 3D shoes meant to be laser sintered with a flexible TPE material. Using a Sintratec S2 System 3D printer, the shoes were formed and printed.

Why is it noteworthy?

The Cryptide features a sole with an open design. The designer said it was made possible by SLS production (Selective Laser Sintering) and a material called Sintratec TPE elastomer. Simply put, SLS is an additive manufacturing that takes advantage of a laser to sinter particles into a more solid 3D structure. Henrich and Sintratec worked together to bring the sneaker design into reality.

What we like

  • The size and shape can adapt to the foot of the wearer
  • They remind us of the Adidas Futurecraft 4D!

What we dislike

  • They don’t rate high on aesthetics + style
  • The shoes will leave freaky footprints

2. Otrivin Air Lab’s 3D printed products

Mother Nature already has its own tiny air purifiers, and not only can we use them to clean the air, but we can also even harvest them to create products that won’t harm the planet in turn. That’s the proposition that the Otrivin Air Lab interactive exhibit in Londo is trying to present, and it’s roping in visitors not only to observe the process but to actively take part in it. The space is enclosed in a lightweight and reversible timber structure, and one of the walls holds twelve “photobioreactors.” These are tall glass vessels filled with ten liters of living photosynthetic microalgae that absorb CO2 and release oxygen while also producing biomass in the process. Each day, that wall can take in 240g of CO2 and spit out 180g of oxygen as well as 84g of biomass.

Why is it noteworthy?

Visitors to the lab can take part in the daily harvesting of that biomass product that is then turned into bioplastics, bio-rubbers, and 3D printing filaments. These raw materials can then be used to create biodegradable and sustainable products, like vases and even stools. Some might find it a bit unsettling, but the fact that you are sitting on what is practically CO2 and air pollution should feel empowering. We might not be able to completely eradicate unclean air, but we can at least turn them into something harmless and useful.

What we like

  • The lab is intended to showcase the viability and sustainability of a circular economy
  • Nasal healthcare company Otrivin, who collaborated on this exhibit, will be using this process to create its Fibonacci NetiPot nasal sprays

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

3. The Polyformer

The Polyformer looks interesting from the get-go, and its name sounds like something taken out of fictional literature. Its translucent white appearance is thanks to the fact that it is made from recycled plastic PET bottles, giving it an appearance that also speaks to its purpose.

Why is it noteworthy?

In a nutshell, the machine slices up PET bottles and melts them to turn them into filaments only 1.75 mm in diameter. These recycled plastic threads can then be used in normal 3D printers to create more things, probably with the same distinctive translucent appearance as the Polyformer.

What we like

  • Offers an alternative to the traditional way PET bottles are recycled
  • The designer has made available all the information needed to recreate it yourself

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

4. Angled Stands

Designed to easily become the centerpiece of any geek’s table, these stands are 3D-printed pretty much to scale, and are designed to easily fit most standard headphones (and even VR headsets!)

Why is it noteworthy?

Although each headphone stand is 3D printed (and you can even see the lines on some of them), it also has a stunning amount of detail. Take for instance the Chewbacca headphone stand right below. This is because Angled partners with designers and artists to release new variants and models online. Artists create detailed models that get approved by Angled’s team based on sizing, proportions, and its ability to be printed without any flaws/errors. Once a design gets approved by the Angled team, it makes its way to their store and for every sale, the artist gets a commission.

What we like

  • They can be customized and painted to make them all the more realistic
  • Has stands that hold your Xbox or PS controllers

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

5. Wabo

Wabo is a collection of hand boards that are created from plastic waste produced from 3D-printed prototyping. Eight million pieces of plastic make their way into the ocean on a daily basis. That’s a lot of plastic. While some brands commit themselves to gimmicky sustainable practices that have more to do with marketing than carbon-neutral manufacturing, other brands learn how to make something out of the plastic waste they produce.

Why is it noteworthy?

The multidisciplinary design studio Uido Design is a studio known for its catalog of 3D printable product designs and its team is doing something about the waste they produce during the design process. Shredding the plastic waste produced from 3D printing into bits and pieces, Uido Design uses the waste to create hand boards for users to ride the ocean waves.

What we like

  • The hand boards are handcrafted

What we dislike

  • Not a necessary product, but still fun!

6. Resting Reefs

Resting Reefs is a system of artificial reefs that are 3D-printed from the cremated ashes of passed-over loved ones.

Why is it noteworthy?

Spreading the ashes of relatives who’ve passed over across the ocean is a beautiful way to memorialize loved ones. While the symbolism behind it is the point of tossing your loved ones’ ashes into the wind, Royal College of Art graduates Louise Lenborg Skajem and Aura Elena Murillo Pérez developed a means to still memorialize our passed-over loved ones while regenerating endangered ecosystems in the process. Resting Reef, a line of artificial reefs made from cremated ashes using 3D technologies, marks the culmination of Lenborg Skajem’s and Murillo Pérez’s studies at RCA.

What we like

  • Allows surviving family members to visit their loved ones’ eternal resting places
  • The 3D-printed mounds offer ideal growing conditions for oysters

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

7. The Throne

This sustainable toilet is designed to compost solid waste while also tackling the sanitation crisis – using design and technology to do good sh*t! It is a solution that eradicates plastic waste and turns it into a construction material that reduces the load on landfills.

Why is it noteworthy?

Created by Spanish design studio Nagami and To: it has been dubbed The Throne and it comprises three parts – a teardrop-shaped body, a dramatic, double-curved sliding door, and a bucket for solid waste. All the parts were printed within three days, including the base and some smaller accessories that were either injection-molded or ordered. It also includes an off-the-shelf separation toilet seat to separate urine from solids for composting.

What we like

  • Sustainable design that combats the sanitation crises
  • The teams used discarded plastic medical equipment from European hospitals for the prototype

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

8. Cullan’s 3D-printed shoes

Designed in the metaverse by Cullan Kerner, the shoes embody an aesthetic that’s best described as ‘oddly refreshing’ and the reason is because it doesn’t stick to the constraints of regular shoe design intended for mass production. The process with shoe design is standardized to a great degree – you’ve got pre-set sizes, materials that are readily available, dies for cutting/molding these materials, and processes like stitching or gluing that bring them together

Why is it noteworthy?

Cullan’s design process, however, is completely different. For starters, the shoes were made entirely in Gravity Sketch, a free VR software that allows you to design directly in a 3D space. Cullan designed the shoes almost like a sculptor makes an art piece, creating in 3D space. The shoes are made for 3D printing – a process that still hasn’t been mass-accepted by the shoe industry. The idea is simple – Cullan’s model gets imported into a 3D printing software, and the printer meticulously builds the design layer by layer using a single flexible elastomeric material.

What we like

  • Each shoe can be designed to fit you perfectly, and they’re all made to order
  • Available as NFTs

What we dislike

  • They’re not in production!

9. Vaude

Vaude is an outdoor mountain sports brand that develops sustainable outdoor gear because they want younger generations to be able to enjoy the outdoors in the same ways we’ve enjoyed it. Supplying the clothing, accessories, and equipment necessary to take on your next hike, camping trip, or forest bath, Vaude is committed to a responsible and sustainable design process from start to finish and back again. Using innovative 3D printed back pads, Vaude’s latest product is a fully recyclable backpack made from mono-materials.

Why is it noteworthy?

Dubbed Novum 3D, Vaude’s outdoor backpack features a honeycomb construction that ensures maximum stability while keeping the materials needed for production to a minimum. Each component of the backpack, from the straps to the packsack and even the honeycomb back pads is 3D printed from 100% thermoplastic material (TPU). Each component of the Novum 3D is also fully removable and recyclable, taking a big step towards a circular economy.

What we like

  • Sustainability remains at the forefront of Vaude’s design principles
  • This type of construction offers us the highest stability with the least amount of material

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

10. Alive

Alive is a customizable, 3D-printed wheelchair for dogs suffering from joint-related body ailments. As our dogs grow older, age-related body issues, such as arthritis, hip dysplasia, and paralysis make it difficult to enjoy life. When even moving feels hard, aging dogs are less likely to spend time with family members and take care of bodily needs, leading to psychological stress.

Why is it noteworthy?

While technical accessories and equipment do exist to offer some relief, antiquated building methods make it hard for dogs to adapt to wheelchairs and other assistive appliances. Revolutionizing the canine assistive appliance game, industrial designer Martin Tsai conceptualized a wheelchair for dogs called Alive that can be 3D printed to fit your dog’s body data and needs.

What we like

  • It’s a one of a kind design that provides aid to dogs suffering from joint-related body ailments
  • Uses 3D scans of the dog’s body data to generate an optimized wheelchair for each dog

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

The post 3D printed designs that are paving the future of sustainable product design first appeared on Yanko Design.

MagSafe camera lens concept turns your iPhone 13 into a professional mirrorless camera

Probably the most incredible interpretation of the iPhone’s MagSafe feature.

Here’s a thought. Adding an array of magnets to the back of the iPhone just so you can attach a card holder to it seems like a massive waste of potential, doesn’t it? You could attach so many accessories via the MagSafe feature (and even allow the iPhone to detect and pair with it via NFC/Bluetooth), an external hard drive, a better speaker, or potentially even a larger, more professional-grade camera lens. Meet SCIO, a MagSafe camera lens from the mind of Vladimir Fer. Sure, your iPhone’s cameras are arguably already the best on the market, but when has that ever stopped Apple from pushing the boundaries further? Taking inspiration from Sony’s QX10 and QX100 modular camera lenses, SCIO is a mirrorless lens that simply attaches to your iPhone via MagSafe. Snap it on and your smartphone is now a professional shooter capable of much more realistic portrait shots and telephoto images. Combine this with Apple’s own computational photography chops and the SCIO turns the iPhone into easily the best camera a consumer can own, without breaking the bank.

Designer: Vladimir Fer

With a much larger lens and sensor, SCIO’s imaging system is capable of capturing much more light than the iPhone 13’s multiple lenses. This allows for better photos, more detail, higher-resolution low-light shots, and much more accurate bokeh. SCIO’s camera lens uses your iPhone’s display as a viewfinder, and can potentially pull battery power from the iPhone via reverse charging, so you don’t need to separately charge the camera lens. It also means being able to manually adjust your camera’s settings, like its focus, aperture, ISO, and shutter speed – something that isn’t really as straightforward with the iPhone’s native camera app. This really brings traditional mirrorless/DSLR-style photography to the iPhone, allowing professionals to extract the most out of their smartphone camera. Moreover, while the SCIO is capturing images, the iPhone’s own camera lenses can record other details like depth, HDR information, and tinier details to help enrich the final photograph. The lens even has a tripod mount, bringing traditional and computational camera experiences even closer!

Although the SCIO lens can directly be attached to the back of the iPhone, it’s best paired with a companion case that comes with a better grip and a physical shutter button. The lens itself has a few details that upgrade your photography experience, from a tiny screen that displays your active camera settings to an adjustment ring for controlling focus or zoom. In the spirit of modularity, the SCIO also lets you attach hoods and filters using a magnetic system on the front. The same magnet system lets you attach a lens cap when you’re not actively using the lens.

What SCIO does, apart from bridging the gap between mirrorless and smartphone photography, is bring a new dimension to MagSafe’s capabilities. Sure, you could attach a card case or a charger to the back of your iPhone, but that’s like using a desktop with a high-end GPU to play Solitaire.

Although it seems unlikely that Apple would make such a concept, the beauty of the SCIO’s underlying idea is that Apple doesn’t need to do anything. Third-party companies like Moment or Zeiss (or even Leica, considering how intertwined the two companies are) could develop their own hardware and just create an app that pairs with the lens module via Bluetooth to directly stream video to the iPhone. It’s a camera revolution that’s just waiting to happen!

The post MagSafe camera lens concept turns your iPhone 13 into a professional mirrorless camera first appeared on Yanko Design.